tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN December 17, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PST
a blogger writes a piece that was entitled i am adam lanza's mother and ignited a fire storm. that mom answers critics tonight. let's go out front. good evening, everyone. i am erin burnett. out front tonight, the grieving community of newtown, connecticut began burying loved ones today. funerals were held for two 6-year-old boys, jack pinto and noah pozner. just moments ago we were approached by a representative for the family of 6-year-old madeleine hsu. i will quote the words. she was sweet, unique, bright, sparkling, determined little girl. she was an avid reader who loved running and dancing and she was
a born leader. this is the start of what will be a very painful week as friends and family here prepare to say goodbye, to try to say goodbye to the 20 children and six educators killed on friday in the second worst shooting in american history. as newtown mourns, investigators are still trying to figure out what motivated adam lanza to go on a shooting spree and kill children and take the life of his own mother. we'll have more in a moment. the truth is we may never know why adam lanza may choose to go on a mass killing spree, why he may choose to go into a school and kill innocent 6 and 7-year-olds. we are learning a lot more about his mother nancy and the relationship she had with her troubled son. according to friends the 52-year-old divorced mother was two was devoted to her children and especially close with adam who friends say was very intelligent and socially awkward. a retired stockbroker, nancy
lanza was a lifelong red sox fan with season tickets who lived with her son adam in a large colonial home and friends say she was a little contradiction, extremely generous and friendly yet extremely private when it came to her family life. they say she did talk about the challenges she faced raising a son with asperger's syndrome and her friends say she thought she may soon be leaving newtown. >> she was talking about washington state and ready to change her whole life, sell her house and start over, just for him, just so he could go to school and he was her life. >> friends say nance alanza was a gun enthusiast and had taken up target shooting as a hobby and they insist she was always responsible with guns.
>> they painted her as some irresponsible gun freak and she wasn't. she was the epitome of responsibility and she was a paragon for gun safety and taught the boys how to use the guns responsibly. >> little did she know the son she doted on and taught how to use guns would turn those guns on her and children. they believe he shot and killed his mother as she was lying in bed before taking her guns, two of her handguns and an assault rifle. i sat down with some of nancy's friends at one of her favorite restaurants, a place she went to two or three times a week. it is called my place and i asked them about who was nancy lanza? >> 12 years ago, 12, 15 years ago, met her here in the bar. she would come in and take out food and we got to know each other and with mark and we would
talk in the bar and just like clicked. that was it. we started talking and we became good friends. >> got to know her? >> yeah. she was like i said started coming into the takeout area and picking up food and got to know the family pretty well and very friendly and out going and funny and we took to her, so, yeah, she just became fast friends with us. she did a lot in town and was always on the go. >> how often did she come in? sounds like you know her well. >> two or three times a week. >> two or three times a week. >> for good especially. the bar, not so often, you know. >> tickets for a ball game and boston games and stuff. >> season tickets to the red sox and would invite us or give us her tickets. >> when was the last time she came in.
>> i saw her last week or two weeks ago to tops and she came in and i was talking to her for a little bit. yeah. she came in more to pick up food than anything else. >> now, you didn't meet the boys, right? >> yeah. >> you knew one of them. >> i knew both. ryan worked for me for a year-and-a-half. he was a busser. >> he was? okay. >> adam was never a social person. he used to come in and keep his head down and never sure of himself. >> you knew there was something? >> she told us that he had the condition there, asberger's and always had an issue in school socially because he was a very highly intelligent kid and high i.q. and graduated around tenth grade or so. >> graduated early. >> yeah, like tenth grade, yeah,
very, very intelligent kid, and i mentioned earlier, too, a lot of people are mentioning asberger's and i would like to say something about that. i think that a lot of kids have it, and i don't think it has anything to do with the situation at all because kids with that know the difference between right and wrong. >> she talked, nancy talked through the years about her son. >> she came in here and we socialized and went out and never talked about the family. she was -- she just came in to have a great time, to talk, and -- >> get it off her mind if anything. >> she did but she would only say it has been hard for her, you know, it was really hard for her, bringing him up and she was always -- >> she talked about the challenge of it. >> yeah, but always on it. she was just saying, yeah, never really didn't have to come in here and talk about it and didn't want to talk about it. she would mention it has been difficult and so much for him to
try to get him help here or there or doing different things. >> one of the things we heard a lot about is she was passionate about guns and collected guns. is that something you knew about or surprised when you hear? >> i would say in the last three years or so she picked up the hobby. i don't know who got her into it. she really enjoyed it, target shooting, so i didn't know. i had no idea. >> not collecting? >> she was a target shooter. she probably had some guns she used to take to the range and practice with. i didn't know what she owned or what she had. she just said she enjoyed it and that was it. we don't know if she took her sons, didn't take her sons, she didn't talk about it much. i took this up, it is fun, that kind of thing. >> given that you knew her as a person, would you -- do you think she is the kind of approximate earn that would have the guns around the house? would they be locked up? >> they would have been locked up. >> she is far too bright for that.
she was very smart. she understood. >> what do you think some of the biggest misconceptions are that you have heard on the news? >> i think mostly between the condition he had which people could confuse for being the reason and the guns. i mean, we don't think it has anything to do with her character. >> donated her time with all the charitable work and helping people that needed help and helping aids people and donating money and for aids and charity and that's what she did. she didn't get paid for doing what she did and she did all charitable work and all on her own. >> very generous. >> very generous person. could be sitting here and you are talking to her and they would be saying i don't have any money for this or any money for that and she would take her checkbook out and write a check and give it to the person without knowing them. that's the kind of person she
was. >> all right. i want to bring in susan candiotti with the latest on the investigation. i know we were hearing those friends of nancy lanza talking about how she picked up the hobby over the past three years and they don't think she would -- they were very adamant she wouldn't be the person that would leave her guns loose. she would lock them up what are you learning about target shooting, nancy lanza and adam? >> it is one of the things investigators have to look at. what were both doing, in particular her son? they're finding out more about that. they're learning that in fact both mother and son have been to target practice and did go to gun ranges and several times over the past several years. they don't know exactly how often yet but most recently for adam anyway was in the last six months, and again over the course of several years. the reason they don't know the big picture, the full picture yet is because atf is still in the process of canvassing all of the gun ranges in the area and there are a ton of them in
addition to licensed gun dealers to try to get more information about this. they're still following a lot of leads, and they're also looking at computers, computers that they have discovered in the home, a couple of them we have learned from our law enforcement officials is that they were smashed, smashed to smithereens. >> trying to destroy evidence. >> it would appear to be the case. that's the apparent indication. now they have to pick up the pieces literally and try to pull things together and examine the hard drive what will they look for? they will be checking to see if he sent e-mails to anyone, what websites did he visit, was in chat rooms, message boards, any indication as to a possible motive in all of this. who did he communicate with if anyone? those are the kinds of things they're looking at, and remember they are also doing a complete history of all of the weapons that were used in this terrible tragedy. we have got the one made by
bushmaster which was the assault type rifle, and we know that he came according to officials with a ton of ammunition. he was armed to the hilt when he went to that school, multiple magazines. >> hundreds bullets. >> extra bullets on top of that, 30 round magazines, a lot to go over, so they'll be looking at all of that. we were also there yesterday when we saw his car being towed away. they're going to be going over that vehicle from top to bottom inside the trunk, you will remember, was an extra rifle. >> i know we don't know about motive and when they get this information they'll get more and more information. what do we know about him playing violent video games? >> we don't know much about that yet. that's one thing of course they'll be looking for, any indication of that, what games may have been downloaded on the computer and however today i spoke with a friend of his, i guess you call a friend of his that went to high school with him and he said in their computer class and tech class
they would play a couple of games, one called starcraft and warcraft that involves shooting up enemies and this kind of thing. >> killing and awful things. thank you very much, susan. we appreciate it. what we know and what at this point we don't know. up front next, the woman that wrote the backlog i am adam lanza's mother, the title of it. it called attention to the challenge of raising a child with very serious mental illness. what she got in response is a fire storm. she responds to the controversy and the criticism next and later the principal hero, remembered by the people who knew her. you know that little 50-pound thingy at the doctor's office when they weigh you, and they have to move it over? my doctor does not have to do that anymore. [ male announcer ] for every 2 pounds you lose through diet and exercise
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i am adam lanza's mother, and it went viral, about literally the instant after it was published. liza long wrote vividly about her 13-year-old son michael. she changed his name, she says, to protect his privacy. here is what she wrote. i live with a son who is mentally ill. i love my son. he terrifies me. a few weeks ago michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after i asked
him to return his overdue library books. now, this blog was very raw and emotional and raised questions about parenting a child with mental illness. also, there were a lot of critics, people wondering why liza long would choose to be so public about her son michael. i spoke to her earlier and asked her why she wrote the blog. >> you know, this blog was a really personal and visceral response to the absolutely tragic shootings that occurred in connecticut on friday and when i heard about the shootings, i closed my office door and just started to shake and later that evening as i sat down, i confronted a lot of my own fears and the thought process i was going through through the course of the week and that blog post was a result of that really hard look at my own life and my own circumstances. >> liza, you write about -- i
will use your words. i know this is hard to say. you write about your child threatening you with a knife. this was normal behavior for him? >> this is a scary thing, erin. the extent to which we had normalized that behavior, what i tried to describe michael to people, anyone that knows him knows that 97% of the time he is just the sweetest, brightest, kindest most articulate child, but sometimes for no apparent reason he will just turn into this absolute raging -- i don't know how to describe it. you have to see it to believe it. i stopped and said to myself this isn't normal. i have to face up to the fact that i have a sick son, and we need help, and, erin, that's really what the blog post was about. it was about a cry for help in a situation where i was feeling very helpless.
>> do you know what he has? what causes him to do this? has it ever been diagnosed? >> we have had variety of diagnoses. we have looked at intermittent explosive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, autism spectrum disorder although there is disagreement on that and also finally adhd. >> so it is still sort of you're not really sure. i know that to give our viewers background here, that you and your husband, he has actually been into juvenile detention four times and now at what you call an acute inpatient facility, a mental health institution, and you actually took him there after the knife incident. again, i want to quote liza for the viewers that don't know the blog when you write about that moment you wrote he was in a full blown hit screaming and hitting. i hugged him close so he couldn't escape from the car. he bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. i am still stronger than he is but i won't be for much longer.
how long will he be in that institution and what will you do when he comes home? >> erin, that's the reason i wrote the blog. people have had a hard time understanding this, but where we live i don't know how it is where you live but where we live mental health treatment is pretty short-term, and so this facility for young adults, 10 to 14 days maybe at the most, maybe even less, and after that there aren't a lot of good options for continued residential treatment here. that's the biggest challenge that i am facing, the advice i got was i needed to press charges so that we could create a paper trail again and he did get excellent follow through care when he had to do juvenile detention as a younger boy, but i just don't feel like jail is the right place for my son, and i am just really hoping that we can find another solution for
him. >> you have been criticized for writing this blog and i know you're well aware that far and you wrote it under your own name so people could figure out who your son is and i know michael isn't his real name and anyone that knew you could figure it out. you have been criticized for doing that. maybe if he does grow up and get through this and is able to become a functioning member of society that this would dog him for the rest of his life and your words would be there. what do you say to that? >> those kinds of criticisms will come up any time there is a situation like this. first and foremost, i realize this sounds hopelessly naive now. did i believe that my blog was anonymous, and if you look at the the soccer mom my name is not on there. where the link came is with is when i published on the blue review, and that was linked to my blog. that, you know, honestly, as you probably know, there is a great woman named sara out there who has a wonderful blog, very
articulate and passionate and very concerned about children's privacy issues. frankly, erin, i think they are concerns are legitimate and concerns about children's privacy issues are legitimate. my son does know about this piece. his take on it was, mom, if we can help people to understand, then this is a good thing. >> liza, let me ask you, you mentioned sara, and of course who you're referring to, she was another mom, incredibly supportive of you and you put out a joint statement saying let's have a conversation about mental health issues. when she posted online some of your prior blogs, i read them. you wrote things about your son's behavior. it makes want to throttle you and i quit, let the state take care of you and another time my day dreams involve my death or federal prison. are those the raw emotions you feel as a mother and most people don't say or were you exaggerating or tell me how that happened.
>> well, i mean, first of all, i have to admit you guys have all scrutinized my blog a whole lot more than i ever thought it would be scrutinized. i don't think anyone in america thinks anyone reads their blogs, so, yeah, i think one of the hallmarks of my writing and one of the reasons this last piece connected with so many people is i do have a tendency to just kind of say what is on my mind, and i wrote those words and those are my words. i am not disowning them. you're looking at a four-year -- that's a four-year slice of history. >> let me ask you a question. do you own a gun? >> heaven's no, no, no, no. >> because obviously you're writing about mental health here and some people have said you have fair points, but you know don't let this obscure the national debate we need to have about gun control and what we need to do. >> oh, my goodness, no. i have caught that from more than one person and i think that the line in question is something about it is easy to talk about gun control and it is
time to talk about mental health and if i can clarify what i mean by easy, it is that we can frame the gun control debate in terms of write and wrong. it is right to have gun control or it is wrong if some people would say to have gun control, so that's a simple way to debate a question. i don't think you can say that mental health is right or wrong. >> yes. all right. thank you very much, liza. appreciate your taking the time and coming and talking about in. >> thank you, erin. i really appreciate you highlighting this important issue of mental health and i just really feel like this is a conversation that we need to have as a nation that we need to do something for our children and adults who struggle with behavioral and mental health issues. >> we certainly do. thanks. >> thank you. i asked liza why she put a picture up of her son on her blog since she changed his name and wanted to protect his privacy and she was very open. the picture is age 7 and he looks nothing like that.
i want to bring in dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay, when you hear this story, and you see liza talking about her child and her struggles, she has taken a lot of criticism for that from a lot of people. what do you think? >> it was a really good interview. it was interesting. you almost got the sense it was a little therapeutic for her, her writing, she writes this stuff and now seeing her and meeting her through that interview, you can tell she is not the kind of mom to do these things but she is frustrated. the mental health issue, imagine this, the threshold to get your child treatment is that they have to be of imminent harm to themselves or other people. it is like saying you can only go to the hospital if you're already having a heart attack. it doesn't make any sense. this is the problem when you talk about putting mental health on par with physical health. it is not right now. >> it is hard when she said you are put in a position you have to charge your own child with battery or assault. her husband had to do that in order to get him into juvenile care.
have you done the numbers. 1 in 5 children have a mental health issue in this country. that's an amazing number. >> it is an amazing number and the mental health resources are not there. when you prescribe a medication or take someone off a medication, all the literature says you have to monitor the person for a period of time and that's a very vulnerable time period. you know as well as i do that they get prescriptions and don't get the follow-up and that's a real problem and something that it comes up even with regard to the situation and tragedy here. >> and also seems a lot of parents would be understandably in denial, right? my child doesn't have a problem or they're going to grow out of it or nobody wants to be in that position. >> yeah. i think denial is a big part of this. i have been talking to a lot of people and what i am hearing more than anything else is they anguish over what's happening with their children and love to get their children treatment and it means giving them a criminal record or somehow saying they're going to harm people and they don't want to too that. that's a tough choice for any parent to make. >> and as liza said, you could
see the anguish. >> absolutely. >> sanjay, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> up next we'll bring you some of our other top stories of the day. we have more here from newtown, connecticut including the story of a man who found children on his front lawn victims of a horrible crime and the world at that moment knew nothing about. r new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. [ male announcer ] with free package pickup from the u.s. postal service the holidays are easy. visit usps.com. pay, print, and have it picked up for free before december 20h for delivery in time for the holidays. you can even give us special instructions on where to find it. free package pickup. from the u.s. postal service.
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welcome back. tonight we start the second half of the show with other key stories we're watching tonight and we begin with democrat daniel, the most senior older member died today, representing hawaii in the senate for five decades and second longest serving in history. he was a medal of honor recipient and hospitalized last week but eventually succumbed to respiratory complications. we're told his last word was aloha. inouye was 88 years old. fiscal cliff talks may be gaining momentum. president obama met with john boehner after boehner indicated he was willing to make new concessions. it was a face-to-face meeting, their third in eight days. it is important and a good thing. it lasted 45 minutes. it has been 501 days since the united states lost its top credit rating. elsewhere in politics a big decision in south carolina. governor nikki haley appointed tim scott to replace out going
senator jim demitt. he will not only black member and will only fill the seat until a special election is held in november 2014. those results will determine who fills the remaining two years of the term. you may recall earlier this month he said he was resigning by january 1st to lead a conservative think tank where he said he could make a bigger difference than he does in the senate. an independent review of how the state department handled the attack on the consulate in benghazi has been submitted to hillary clinton and it will be sent to members of congress before they attend a closed door briefing wednesday. they'll be briefed by the consistent review board member that is conducted the review. earlier today newtown began the unbearable task of saying good buy to two of friday's youngest victims. as we were coming into newtown from a distance we saw a graveyard and a funeral and you choke up and tear up just seeing that.
brings home the magnitude of what happened here. 6-year-old jack pinto and noah pozner were both laid to rest today. we hear noah was a very smart boy and loved reading and playing with his siblings and calling his twin sister arielle his best friend. jack pinto was a huge football fan that loved the new york giants. he loved them so much. i know he loved, loved the giants. that was a real area of passion for that little boy. it must have been heartbreaking to be there today. >> certainly because it just doesn't make sense. we're watching what's happening to this town and to see all of these people show up, this little boy's funeral, just a 6-year-old boy in the first grade and the people you normally see show up at a funeral, they're older. the people that came today, children, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, 7-year-old children
and they arrived wearing long sleeved shirts and sweatshirts that had newtown wrestling on it and the family had had asked for privacy. we tried to give them as much privacy as possible and when you think about the global spotlight, they tried to have as much alone time as possible and certainly there is a lot of interest in this little boy who loved sports so much and one child who showed up to mourn today was actually wearing a medal and the medal is significant because i spoke to a member of a wrestling team in a nearby town and this team says that jack had just won his first medal this last week, his very first match, he won his first medal. as you mentioned, his real love was football. he loved the new york giants. he loved victor cruz, and that message went all the way to cruz. he tweeted out this picture. he took a picture of his cleats and his gloves that had the name
jack pinto on it. he said this game is for you and after last night's game here is what cruz told reporters. >> it was emotional, man. i was fighting back tears to do it and it felt good. it felt good to honor a family going through so much. just the thought of your little one or your child or son or daughter going through something like that, it is just unbelievable to even listen to on the news. i put my daughter into bed with me that night. >> the family reportedly was so moved and knew how much that the little boy loved cruz that they buried him in a victor cruz jersey, this the very first of what will be many more days of funerals of these little children. >> thank you. more heroes of that day. one man saw six small children on his front lawn, refugee from horror and didn't know why at
first and vicki soto, a teacher that gave everything for her children including her life. e b, sweet silver bells ♪ ♪ all seem to say throw care away ♪ ♪ from everywhere, filling the air ♪ [ female announcer ] chex party mix. easy 15-minute homemade recipes you just pop in a microwave. like caramel chocolate drizzles. happier holidays. chex party mix. plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+.
jean rosen lives just down the road from the sandy hook elementary school and so close that friday morning before anyone knew the horror that had happened, he discovered six terrified children on his front lawn. they told him their teacher had just been killed and gene is out front with me tonight. thank you. i know it is hard and with all of the media here to come and talk about what happened. when you saw those children on your yard, did you have any idea that something was wrong? >> i had no idea. i thought they were doing a skit and maybe they were cub scouts
or girl scouts and practicing and because they were sitting so nicely and then i saw a man in a very agitated way saying it is going to be all right, and he kept raising his voice and i thought that was so strange, and i came to the children and they were crying and wailing and mortified and there was a school bus driver with them and i invited them into the house, and she said there had been an incident at the school and i had no idea what it was. >> did the children, how did they find the words to tell you? they told you, right? >> they told me. they just started talking. the two boys mostly talked, and they said we can't go back to that school, we can't go back -- >> we can't go back. >> our teacher is dead. what are we going to do? we don't have a teacher.
i could not take that in. i could not accept that. i just kept listening to them and then they talked more and the boy said, oh, no, it was a big gun and a small gun and then i knew and then they said there was blood, there was blood, and then they said her name, and i prayed that it wasn't that teacher, and it was. it was that very pretty 27-year-old teacher. i don't know how they fled. i think she must have protected them and saved their lives. i don't know if they ran all the way down the boulevard, the street next to the fire house. i don't know how they got to my house. they were so brave. they were so good. i brought down some toys from my grandson's toy chest and i gave them some juice and we called their parents.
they were very brave. very good, and i was amazed p i was astounded at what they were telling me. >> they noticed everything. you are a psychologist by training and you talk about being a grandfather and it was a grandfather that was you at that moment. >> that's what trained me, being a grandfather. i felt like i was with my grandchildren, and i felt perfectly happy with them. that's what trained me, my granddaughter and my grandson, and they were with me, and i felt comfortable. they were very sweet, and they calmed down a little and they were so -- they kept repeating they can't go back to the school because they don't have a teacher. >> and they're grieving is going to be hard for adults to understand. it will be different. it may be more intense. it will be different. what message do you have for those children that came onto
your yard? >> i want to be reunited with them. i want to see those children, and i want to tell them how good and brave and strong they are and i want to tell their parents that, and i want to tell them that i want to be their friend and i want to read to them and i want to give them something special for christmas and i want to be their friend and i want them to see me in light instead of darkness as i saw them. i want their parents -- i hope they will call me because i want to see those children. they were very good children, and then something happened with one of the boys out of this grief and this carnage and he stopped and he became very composed and all of a sudden he stopped and he looked at me and he said just saying your house is very small.
i thought, what a bright, wonderful boy and he just brought to all of us a respite, a respite from all of this darkness, and you know what? i want to see these kids. i hope their parents will call me. i want to put my arms around them and tell them that i love them and i want the children to be the basis for our solution. that's what i want. >> i hope that they are and i hope you will be that when they remember that day, the beacon of light for them, too. thank you so much, gene. >> i so appreciate you letting me tell my story. >> we appreciate you telling it. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. "outfront" next, has the world changed and perhaps in a way for this country for the better? john looks at how finally there might be a reasonable conversation in this country about guns. the hero principal from the point of view of a friend who
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in the aftermath of the newtown tragedy there is growing demand for tighter controls on guns. a poll found a big shift, the number of people that say they strongly support stricter gun control laws went up by five points and the number stronger opposed went down five points and as i recall after the shooting in aurora, you didn't see such a big shift. after some mass shootings you do. this time it is a bigger move, and the question is will it gain even more momentum and will washington actually do anything about it? john avalon is looking into that. i know lawmakers from both sides of the party and even staunch, staunch members that are staunchly backed by the nra are united in their grief and say they want change to happen. will it?
>> erin, sometimes it takes a tragedy to make us confront reality. and you are starting to see politicians on both sides of the aisle say maybe now is not the time to rely on ideology or partisan politics but take a long look on the laws around guns and not infringing on the second amendment but what reasonable restrictions can be put in place. in the last 24 hours two senators with nra ratings of a, joe manchin and mark warner said this event changed them and they're open to new solutions. let's take a listen to what senator manchin told christiane amanpour. >> who would have thought in america or anywhere in the world children would be slaughtered? it changed me. i don't know of anybody that goes hunting with an assault rifle. i don't know people that need 10, 20, 30-round clips. >> i believe every american has
second amendment rights and the ability to hunt is part of our culture and i have had an nra rating of an a, but, you know, enough is enough. >> erin, that's the beginning of what may be a significant shift in evolution on this issue. the nation had an assault weapons band that expired in 2004. that's one of the things senators are talking about looking at. the fact these senators are saying they're open to this kind of conversation is really significant. >> all right, john, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> as the residents of mountain mourn the loss of friends and family, one of the things that helps keep them going is celebrating those brave amid the chaos. dawn hochsprung was one of them. all three of her children attended sandy hook elementary and she became friends with many teachers there including dawn hochsprung.
miranda is here to remember. i know that you have three children and one of your children has friends that have lost siblings. >> yes. >> let me ask you about dawn. you knew her well and worked with her for a while. >> i worked with her because i was very active as a mom in the school and my youngest daughter when she was there dawn was there at the same time and dawn was an unusual principal. she didn't have that formality that a lot of administrators might have. she had a radiant smile and she was always about fun and warmth and you kind of felt like you could just give her a hug as soon as you met her and she had a rare quality. >> how do you feel and how does this town feel? just being here, it is such a picture perfect little town. it is small and feels like everybody would know everybody else. >> uh-huh. >> yeah. we are all connected here.
i felt a little conflicted tonight about coming out. i wanted to make sure it was the right thing to do. i felt like i could have an opportunity to talk a little bit about the collective grief that we're feeling as a community and we feel numb. we're carrying our grief around with us. we have the thoughts of the parents who lost their children in our minds all the time. it is hard. everything stopped now. it is hard to get on with your routine. it is impossible. i haven't been able to make coffee without forgetting what i am doing halfway through and i just want to get the message out to my friends and neighbors, especially the ones grieving the most who have lost loved ones that we're in this together and that there is so much good in the world and that we're going to hold onto it together. >> i know you were telling a personal story just about how it is hard to sleep. >> yeah.
>> when you dozed off last night and woke up, you had to wake your husband up to see if it was real. >> i woke him up and said is this really happening? that's a line that has been running through my head and i mentioned that to friends of mine and can they all could relate to that. it is hard to believe it. it is hard to believe when president obama gave the beautiful speech last night and he listed the massacres that have happened in our country and the tragic events and at the end of it came the name of our little town that no one else used to -- i used to have to explain where it was, and that was shocking. >> you don't want it to be that way. you don't want it to be columbine. >> exactly. i don't want people to associate the name of our town with this horrible tragedy. our town is more than that. it is a really special place where parents are so committed to their children's education and bringing them up well and my kids have such wonderful memories of sandy hook. it is a huge part of their
childhood and i have wonderful memories there, and i want them to be able to continue to have those memories and not think of it as a crime scene. >> this is a tough question to ask given my role. the media, when i walk around here, i see a lot of people like me and we're trying to cover the story and i know that we're making it hard, too, in some ways for you. >> thank you for asking that, erin. i came down a couple of days ago. i came down to the center of sandy hook here when the media was here, and i kept bumping into friends and friends of friends and we would hold each other and embrace each other and come can together and that feels like quite all right now and when i came here tonight, i didn't see anybody i knew, and we really feel that the nation feels our pain and wants to reach out and wants to be here with us, and that means a great deal. on the other hand, it is hard to not be able to get to drive around your own town when really what we need is to be together. >> miranda, thank you so much.
we appreciate you taking the time to share with us. >> thank you. >> up next, a town forever changed. share "not even close." share "you owe me..." share "just right." the share everything plan. shareable data across 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. hurry in for a droid incredible 4g lte by htc for $49.99.
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finally tonight, a new normal in newtown. the library, the general store, the diner that fills with kids after high school basketball games, the hallmarks of a picture perfect new england town, newtown, connecticut. donna moved her 15 years ago to raise her three kids. >> this is a town where i never
locked my doors. i didn't lock my car doors, my house was open, and my kids ran back and forth to each other's houses. never felt unsafe. >> it was safe. just one murder in the past decade. on friday that changed. 20 school children gunned down in their classrooms and four teachers, their school psychologist and their principal all gone. news of a shooting in the town was met with disbelief. >> all i could think is maybe it was a hunting accident because nothing like this would ever happen in newtown. >> john o'leary coaches youth basketball and one of the young victims played for his team. >> never expected it. shocked. >> that shock is still evident everywhere you look. 26 christmas trees line the curb across the street from the fire house where some of the children fled the gun fire. this morning moving vans drove past down the road to sandy hook elementary to start the process of resettling the students at a new school.